All of our teachers are professionals with years of experience as principals in their orchestras and teachers at some of the most renowned music conservatories in the world.

Extended bios and teachers for woodwinds will soon be posted.

Dr. Paul W. Popiel, Conductor

Paul W. Popiel, professor of music, is the Director of Bands at the University of Kansas, only the seventh person to hold this position in the band's storied 125-year history. Dr. Popiel conducts the KU Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate program in wind conducting, and guides all aspects of the university band program. His previous appointments include the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Oklahoma State University. He also enjoyed several years teaching in the public schools of Texas and Michigan.

His Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 was heralded by the New York Times: “The ensemble, conducted by Paul W. Popiel, performed with polish, assurance and copious spirit, eliciting a rousing ovation;” while New York’s Feast of Music said, “Give credit to Popiel, a strong advocate for new music, who went for broke, succeeding in showing us that there is, in fact, real, adventurous music being made over on the other side of the rainbow.”

Popiel has lectured and performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Singapore, and Japan. He has several highly acclaimed performance and production credits for CDs on the Klavier, Naxos, Ecstatic, Summit, and Mark Custom labels. His latest recording project will feature recordings of works by Aaron Perrine, David Maslanka, and Kevin Walczyk. 

Under Popiel's leadership, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall in 2013, for President Obama in 2015, at the Kansas Music Educators Association (2012 and 2015), the national convention of the College Band Directors National Association in 2017, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2018.  The band's recent performances have been acclaimed by The New York Times, Gramophone, Feast of Music, Fanfare, and the American Record Guide.

Popiel is a contributing author to several volumes of the renowned series, Teaching Music through Performance in Band, as well as the journal Alta Musica. He is also the editor-in-chief of Mitteilungsblatt, the quarterly newsletter of IGEB - The Society for the Research and Promotion of Wind Music. His recent lectures on wind band literature include Oberwolz, Austria; Hammelburg, Germany; Coimbra, Portugal; and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. 

A proponent of distinctive new music, Popiel has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for winds, including pieces by composers Joel Puckett, Mohammed Fairouz, Michael Torke, Kevin Walczyk, James Barnes, David Dzubay, Joni Greene, and others. In 2013, Popiel was elected to the membership of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, known for the Grammy Awards.

Popiel holds degrees from Truman State University, the University of Notre Dame, and Michigan State University. A recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, he also earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Twentieth-Century Music at the University of Bristol, England. Popiel was also the Frank L. Battisti Conducting Fellow serving as the Resident Conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Dr. Gregory Jones, trumpet, co-director

Dr. Gregory Jones serves as the Director of the Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music following a career at Truman State University in Missouri as trumpet professor and conductor of the brass choir and jazz band.  He holds music degrees from Florida State University, the University of North Texas, and a Doctorate in Music Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.  His wide variety of performance experiences include the Kansas City Symphony, the Moscow Radio Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Texas Baroque Ensemble, the Grand Teton Seminar Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Allen Vizzutti, Al Jarreau, Audra McDonald, Bill Conti, Joshua Bell, the Dallas Cowboys Band, and many others.  He has recorded for National Public Radio and continues to perform as a trumpet soloist and conductor.  Dr. Jones has served as an artist-in-residence in Greece, a recipient of a Senior Fulbright Grant from the United States Information Agency and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and has been a member of the Fulbright Selection Panel in Washington, D.C.  

Recent performances and clinics include the Melos Brass Academy on the Greek Island of Corfu where he performed and taught with Chris Martin of the Chicago Symphony, Frits Damrow of the Concertgebow Orchestra in Amsterdam, The Mnozil Brass, the Canadian Brass, and trombonist Christian Lindberg among others.  Dr. Jones also often visits Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania where he has taught and performed as part of an ongoing program aided by the U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Foundation.  He frequently tours China including performing the opening concert of the first conference of the newly formed China Trumpet Guild.  In America he has recently appeared as a clinician at The Midwest Band Directors Clinic in Chicago and at Florida State University, Rice University, the University of Texas at Arlington, and at Missouri State University. 

The Purdue School of Music under Dr. Jones has recently added new degrees in music industry and recording and production as well as a state of the art recording studio on the campus of Sweetwater, a leader in music business.  He has presented at the Fulbright Conference and for the National Association for Schools of Music conferences, both in Washington, DC. The wind ensemble from Purdue Fort Wayne recently toured Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany and is planning a China tour for 2020. His book, Developing Expression in Brass Performance and Teaching is available from Routledge/Taylor and Francis. He lives in Fort Wayne with his wife, Margo, an accomplished flutist.


Sergiu Carstea, trumpet

Sergiu is a virtuoso trumpet player from Moldova who completed his post-graduate studies in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique.
In 1989, he was founder of the Moldova Brass Quintet and in 2007 he founded the Romanian Brass Society. Sergiu has participated as a jury member in dozens of international brass wind competitions.

Since 2001 he has been principal trumpet of the Romanian National Opera in Timisoara. As a soloist Sergiu has performed in France, Israel, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and in many other European countries with various orchestras, piano accompaniment, organ and string orchestra.

Since 1978 Sergiu has been a professor trumpet at various Moldovan universities, high schools and conservatories. Currently, he is the principal trumpet at the Opera Națională Română Timișoara, România, and teaches at the Universitatea Națională de Muzică din București and the Facultatea de Muzică a Universității de Vest Timisoara.

He regularly gives masterclasses in higher education institutions throughout Europe and in Canada.

Dániel Molnár, French horn

Dániel was born in Budapest, Hungary. After he recieved his highschool degree in the Béla Bartók Conservatory in the Hungarian capital, he started his studies in the horn class of Prof. Ferenc Tarjáni at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, where he got his diploma degree in 2008. He then continued his post graduated studies at the Universität der Künste Berlin.

Dániel played as guest artist in orchestras like the Hungarian State Opera, the Slovenian
Philharmonic, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB), the German Symphony Orchestra
Berlin (DSO), and the Ensemble Modern Frankfurt.

As a soloist, Dániel gave performances of the Haydn and Weber Concertinos throughout Germany and France.

As member of Berlin Counterpoint he played chamber music concerts in Berlin and in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (D), in Copenhage (DK), in Bilbao, Valencia (E), in Tuxtla
Gutierrez (Mexico) and in Istanbul (TR).

Dániel is principal horn of the Zagreb Philharmonic since 2012 and a member of Busina Brass Quintet since 2013.

Ivan Bošnjak, Trombone, Low brass, Artistic director

Ivan was born in Osijek, Croatia. He took his first lessons in trombone with his father and then continued his education in the Music School in Šibenik, in the class of prof. Mihajlo Bošnjak where he graduated in 2000. During that time he won the first prize at the 38th National competition of students of music and dance in Rijeka. In 2000 he enrolled at the Music academy „Ino Mirkovich“ in Lovran where he studied in the class of Branimir Slokar and Uroš Polanc. During his studies he won the first prize at the International music competition held in Alice bel Colle in Italy.

While still attending his final year of studies he won the audition for the position of Principal trombone at the Croatian National Theatre Orchestra in Zagreb in 2003. He graduated at the Music academy of the University in Zagreb in 2005.

Beside the position of Principal Trombone, Ivan is an active soloist and chamber musician with the Busina Brass Quintet. He appeared as soloist with orchestra and gave master classes for trombone and low brass on several occasions in Japan in 2010 and 2012 with Tokai Sagami High School Wind Orchestra and Tsuruoka Higashii Wind Band.

Ivan is also the founder and President of the Croatian Association of Trombone and Tuba players – Busina. He also holds the position of Music teacher at Private Gymnasium Marul. He has been the Artistic director of the Zagreb Brass Festival since its founding in 2009.

Since October 2013,  he  has  been  invited  to perform  as  Principal  trombone  with  the  No Borders Orchestra, an orchestra that features the best musicians from the ex-Yugoslavian states. Since 2014, Ivan is an International Artist in Residence with the English Brass Academy.

Since 2016., Ivan is the vice-president of the Croatian Association of Orchestral and Chamber Musicians, one of the highest authorities on classical music in Croatia.

Ivan is an artist for and plays exclusively on trombones made by Jürgen Voigt brass instruments -

Martin McCain, Bass trombone

Bass trombonist and Global Music Award Gold Medal Winner Martin McCain’s career as a musician spans an impressive scope of genres. A third-generation musician, he maintains a versatile performance schedule as a soloist, chamber, orchestral and jazz/commercial musician. According to the International Trombone Association Journal, his playing has been described as "solid and masterful". McCain is in high demand as a performer and clinician throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on Austin’s 89.5 KMFA, Tucson’s 90.5 KUAT, Chicago's 88.5 WHPK, Toronto's 98.5 CKRW and Hong Kong's RTHK 4 radio stations.

Martin has appeared as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival, Great American Brass Band Festival, Zagreb Brass Festival, Brazilian Trombone Festival and American Trombone Workshop. He is the leader of the award-winning jazz trombone ensemble, JazzBonez and a member of the highly-acclaimed Minor 4th Trombone Quartet. Martin regularly performs in recital programs both as a soloist and as the McCain Duo with his wife, pianist Artina McCain.  As an orchestral musician, he regularly appears with the San Antonio Symphony and Austin Symphony in addition to various summer festival orchestras. He has also performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Opera, Austin Opera and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. As a jazz musician, he performs with the NOW Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Inc. Big Band and other commercial touring ensembles. His 2016-2017 season highlights will include various performances in concert series and university residencies in Tennessee, New York, Hawaii, Toronto, Washington DC and Columbia in addition to a CD release. 

Martin was a prize - winner twice in both the International Trombone Association's Donald Yaxley Solo Bass Trombone Competition and Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and twice in both of the American Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition and Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. He has been a featured soloist with the Croatian Army Band and the United States Army Brass Quintet. In addition to being heard on various recordings on the Summit Records, Naxos and Equilibrium labels, Martin has released three solo CDs Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live! (2012), Shades (2014) and Trombone Czar: The Extended Version (2015). He is a four-time winner of the Global Music Awards, receiving a Bronze Medal for the CD Shades, two Silver Medals for the CD Trombone Czar and as an Emerging Artist and a Gold Medal for Best Instrumentalist. Martin was also featured in a recent edition of Billboard magazine.

Martin is an Associate Professor of Music and Artist/Teacher of Trombone at Texas State University where he directs the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles. Under his leadership, the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles have been invited to perform at the International Trombone Festival, American Trombone Workshop, Big 12 Trombone Conference and Texas Music Educators Association Convention on numerous occasions and have released two commercial recordings. Dr. McCain’s students have also been extremely successful in solo and ensemble competitions including the International Trombone Association competitions, the American Trombone Workshop competitions and the Big 12 Trombone Solo Competitions. He is also the founder/director of the Texas State Trombone Symposium. In addition to his duties at Texas State, Martin spends the summer on the faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Center Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, SliderAsia Music Festival (Hong Kong) and the English Brass Academy (Croatia).

Martin McCain is a performing artist for Michael Rath Trombones, Reunion Blues and plays on the “McCain” signature mouthpiece series manufactured by Pickett Brass. He is also an affiliate of AirTurn and The GigEasy.

Željko Kertez, Tuba, Artistic Co-director

Željko Kertez, Tuba, was born in Koprivnica, Croatia. After he finished elementary school in Koprivnica, he enrolled in Varaždin Music School in the class of prof. Stjepan Rukljić. During his education he won the first prize at the 38th National competition of students of music and dance in Rijeka. Soon afterwards he passed the audition for the Orchestra of the Middle European Initiative, where he played for two seasons. After he graduated in the Music school in Varaždin, he enrolled in the class of prof. Šime Vulelija and Danijel Rajković at the Music academy of the University of Zagreb where he graduated in 2005. 

In 2005 he won the audition for the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, where he played for one season. He has attended master classes with the eminent world soloists such as Jens Bjorn Larssen, Henrik Jan Rennes, Ben van Dijk, Mel Culbertson, Walter Hilgers and others. He is also active as a pedagogue and he was invited to teach at most important student music camp in Slovenia – UPOL OrkesterkamP.

Željko holds the position of Solo tuba at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb since 2005. He is also active as a soloist and he appeared with the Tokai Sagami Wind Orchestra in Yokohama in 2013, where he performed the Artiunian Tuba Concerto with great success. He is engaged as conductor of the Kutina Municipal Brass Orchestra - Kresimir. He is also active as a chamber musician in the Busina Brass Quintet.

Since 2014, Željko is an International Artist in Residence with the English Brass Academy.

Željko is the Vice-president of the Croatian Association of Trombone and Tuba players – Busina and the Artistic Co-director of the Šibenik Summer Brass Academy